Fifty years ago, a city with a rich history of art, culture and philanthropy opened the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the center of civic and cultural vitality.
Since 1987, the Van Wezel Foundation has partnered with the City of Sarasota to foster a connection between the city, the people, the bay and the spirit of human creativity. Through this collaboration and the generosity of donors, the Foundation has provided grants of more than $14 million to ensure arts education training for more than 400 teachers and arts education programming to more than 30,000 students and at-risk youth across four counties each year.
The mission of the Van Wezel Foundation is to create a world-class performing arts center that enriches the community, supports arts education and inspires young minds.
VAN WEZEL FOUNDATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2020 – 2021
Van Wezel Foundation Board Leadership:
Jim Travers, Chair
Jenne Britell, Vice-Chair
Vern Chalfant, Treasurer
Juile Harris, Secretary
Michael J. Wilson, Legal Counsel
Van Wezel Foundation Board Members:
Gerald L. Biller
Mark P. Famiglio
Van Wezel Foundation Ex Officio Board Members:
Mary Bensel, Executive Director, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Cheryl Mendelson, CEO, Van Wezel Foundation
John M. Dart
Michael R. Pender, Jr.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer
Tracey Long Beeker
Director Communications & Community Engagement
Director of Development
Associate Director of Leadership Gifts
Digital & Social Media Strategist
Annual Giving Manager